Jeff's Point of View
It was past 4 pm when Leena and I almost finished emptying my room. Mom and dad were close to finish too. Leena's been helping Marion out for a while after we finished packing up my clothes. I gave her my Beatles clothes, even if I liked it so much. I saw the look in her face when she grabbed it from me. She was so happy, I wanted to see her look even more happy. I pulled myself together and quickly too the shirt from her, and with a deep breath, helped her out into wearing it. I hope she didn't think that was too much though.
Do you know that nervous, excited, and happy feeling when you see a beautiful girl wearing your shirt? That happened to me when I took a step back and looked at her completely. In fact, I wasn't just nervous, excited, and happy. I had a million other feelings inside of me that I couldn't even put it into words.
"Hey." I looked at Leena who was sitting on the floor beside Marion, closing up his box full of shirts and toys. She looked very pretty wearing my Beatles shirt with a pair of shorts and Keds, and her hair tied up in a ponytail. "You guys ready? Dad says we have to pile up everything in the truck now. You know... before it gets dark."
"Yeah! Just closing up the boxes." She said happily as she struggled to stand up. She looked tired already.
"Here, let me help you", I said giving her a hand. I tugged her. Wow, she was a little heavy.
"Thanks." She smiled at me. "Okay, Marion, do you think you could carry that small box?"
"YES I CAN!" Marion shouted as he ran towards the box, picked it up, and ran downstairs.
"You look tired already." I looked straight into her eyes while picking up one box full of clothes.
"A little. But it's okay.... oh, here I'll carry this." She moved towards the box beside me. We carried them both downstairs, and dad immediately took the box she was carrying.
"Leena!", Dad called her, "it's okay! It's okay. Us men will do the carrying. You just rest there and eat with your mom and Aunt Manna."
"Oh! Thank you! I'd be delighted to." She handed the box to dad and gave me a smile. Here she goes again with food.
I walked up and down the stairs, carrying all the boxes in my room and Marion's room, and every time I passed by the kitchen, Leena looked at me as she enjoyed every bite of her snack. As I finished, I went straight to the kitchen and sat with them.
"Looks like you've got an excuse to skip gym now, huh?" She gave me a small grin.
"Yeah. But you've got none." I motioned towards her empty plate. She slapped me on my arm.
"Okay, children. Stop fighting", Aunt Catherine said. I kind of felt embarrassed for teasing her daughter. "So, Jeff, one more year and you'll graduate. Do you have any college choices now?"
"Uhm, yes actually. I lowered down my choices to 2. Oakland University and the State University. I haven't decided which one yet."
"Ohh... that's okay! At least you have an idea now, huh? A sense of direction." She said with a cheerful voice. I liked Aunt Manna, she was just so warm and nice. "But... isn't Oakland a little far from here?"
"Well, yes Aunt Manna. I think that's one of the reasons I couldn't decide yet. Also, I'd still have to wait if they'd give me the scholarship."
"Really? Wow! I heard State has already given you and John a sports scholarship?" I nodded. I looked at Leena who just kept silent. Probably couldn't think of anything to say, but she just smiled at me. "Leena, you better be like that next year. You need some direction."
"Hey... I have direction", Leena said with a sad expression.
"Yeah, right." Aunt Catherine stood up, took our empty plates, and washed them over the sink, while my mom cleaned the table.
"Hey, how 'bout you. Oakland or State?"
"You are seriously going to make me choose a school for you?"
"Not for me, you know. Just... I need other's opinions. It's a tough decision."
"Look, I told you before, Oakland is GREAT. They have expertise when it comes to business and finance. Plus, it's a high-end school!"
"Well, yeah I know. But it's expensive!"
"And that's what scholarships are for!"
"What if I don't get it?!"
"YOU'LL GET IT! YOU HAVE TO!"
"Oh yeah? And how are you so sure?"
"I've seen you play, okay? John let me watched one of your games he videotaped. I don't know why, though. But you're REALLY good. You have no idea how great you are. John even told me the same. SO you better get that damn scholarship or else I'm gonna be pissed! Got it?!"
I looked at her as she shouted at me. She actually sounded like my coach right now, which was awesome. "Got it, ma'am." She rolled her eyes.
We moved all of our boxes inside the apartment already, and it was almost 9 pm. Everyone was getting tired and exhausted. Marion was even sleeping already on the couch since his bed wasn't ready yet. Obviously, we couldn't unpack everything, so we just fixed our beds for the night. The apartment was a lot smaller than our house, and mom said that our other unimportant stuff would just have to stay inside the boxes, or else, it would even be more crowded.
Leena was fixing Marion's bed while I was fixing mine. Mom said we'd take care of Cris' bed when she gets back. Our moms and dads were downstairs fixing some other stuff.
"Okay.... ready." She said while yawning. Wow, now she really needs to rest.
"Okay, thanks... Hey, you can lie down on my bed for a while. I'm gonna get Marion and put him to bed."
"No.. no. I'm okay. Just.... just go get your brother."
I ran downstairs and carried Marion. I know he wouldn't wake up. He sleeps like a log. When I went up to our room, Leena was sitting on my bed and fiddling with her phone. When she saw me, she placed it in her pocket and helped me tuck Marion to bed. I placed his favorite stuffed toy beside him and wrapped his arms around it. I placed his blanket on top of him and rubbed his hair.
I stood up and turned around, and I found out that Leena was watching me as she leaned on the door.
"Look at you, like a sweet big brother. Aww..." she said like she was teasing me.
"Aww your face." I said to insult her.
"I knew you were a softy on the inside." She made a pout-y face.
I stared at her for a few seconds, and immediately ran towards her to tickle her and grab her hair. She tried to run, but she was too late. She was still leaning on the wall when I pinched her arm for so many times. Not that hard! I wasn't a douche.
"OW! Okay! Okay! Enooooough!" She said while pushing me away. "What is it with you boys when we say that you're a softy??? Seriously, it's not such a bad thing. It doesn't really decrease the amount of your masculinity."
"Ughhhhhh, men." Leena yawned again, and I knew it was really time for her to go home.
"Hey, really. You should get some rest now."
"Yeah, I guess I should. Even though mom and dad aren't done yet down stairs." She looked at her watch and I saw that it was almost 10 pm. Time goes by so fast.
"Do you want me to take you home?" I offered, like a gentleman. Actually, I really wanted to take her home, just like how I took her home last time.
"Oh.... no, it's okay. I mean, our house is just right across." She said, smiling at me.
"Haha, yeah. I wouldn't need to drive you home anymore."
"Yeah." We stared at each other for a while, then Leena moved back and walked towards the door. "Well, I should go now."
"Okay, bye." I smiled and waved as she went out of our room. Then, I immediately remembered that I needed to say something else, before she leaves. "Leena!"
She looked back at me.
"Thank you. For... helping out. And, you know, for keeping me company."
"No prob." She smiled, slowly walked towards me and suddenly, unexpectedly, kissed me on the cheek. Which made a warm and sudden rush fill me. "That's for the shirt. I. JUST. LOVE. IT." She smiled back again and went downstairs, said goodnight to her parents and walked out of the front door.
I walked back inside the room, and suddenly, I found a window facing the street. I looked out and I saw her walking towards her house, which was almost right in front of ours. As she stepped on the side walk, she looked left, then right, before crossing the road. She grabbed her keys from the pocket and unlocked the door, and before going inside, she looked back towards our house. Her eyes moved, around our house, as if she was looking for something, then, she found me looking at her from my window which made me feel embarrassed for watching her. But that feeling of embarrassment faded quickly as she gave me her pretty and sweet smile before entering their house and disappearing from my view. And I knew that that wouldn't be the last time that would happen.